Cornmeal Crust Pizza with Greens and Ricotta
Created by Susan Spungen
Servings: Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package (1 1/4 ounces) active dry yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups stone-ground cornmeal , plus more for pan
  • 1 bunch (12 ounces) Swiss chard
  • 4 strips bacon , cut into 3/4-inch squares
  • 4 cloves garlic , thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Directions
To make crust: In the bowl of an electric mixer (warmed with hot water and wiped dry), combine yeast with 1/2 cup warm water; stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup flour (mixture will become thick and stiff). Cover with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Add oil, milk, salt and 1 cup warm water. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with paddle attachment. With mixer on low, slowly add remaining flour and cornmeal. Mix into a soft dough. Change to a dough hook; knead 15 minutes, until sticky.

Form dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough, knead a few times and reshape into a ball. Return to bowl, cover and let sit until nearly doubled, about 40 minutes. Divide into 4 balls; reserve 2 for later use.

To make toppings: Strip Swiss chard leaves from stems. Chop stems, tear leaves; set aside, separated. Place bacon in a cold sauté pan; set over medium heat. Cook until fat has rendered and bacon just begins to brown, 8–10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Pour off all but a little fat from the pan; add garlic. Cook until golden, 2–3 minutes. Add Swiss chard stems. Cook 8–10 minutes, until softened. Add leaves and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°. Using your hands, stretch a ball of dough into a disk; using a rolling pin, roll into a thin 10-inch circle. Transfer to a heavy baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Repeat with other ball of dough. Divide greens evenly between the 2 pizzas, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Crumble ricotta over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bacon. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through cooking. Sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes before serving.